It’s finally starting to look a little brighter outside, so the cricketers are in the cages just a little longer these days. This week we talk with Trenton Franco who hopes to play cricket at Oxford Brookes University next year. In addition, we have reports from the Brentwood Bay International Regatta, the rugby 7s tournament in Vancouver last weekend and the juniors at Cowichan, Junior and Senior girls soccer and Middle School rugby.
Middle School Rugby
by Bruce Kuklinski
Middle School spring 7-aside rugby continued this past week, with the Grade 6, 7 and 8 students playing their third round of games. It has been very pleasing to see the players all trying to apply the skills that they have been practicing, especially around the idea that having a high level of skills will, in the long term, be better than brute strength, and that if you can combine the two at the right times – and add in courage – then even better still.
The two Grade 6/7 teams continue to improve in these areas, especially showing great courage against often bigger opponents. Matthew Hagkull, Tucker Forbes, Owen Weismiller and Chris Egles jumped to the fore last week. The Grade 8 team continues to play their team game very well, with Bryce Forbes and Jasper Bosley leading the way. There is one more week of games before SMUS hosts the Lower Island jamborees, with the Grade 6/7 team hosting on Wednesday, May 8, and the Grade 8 team hosting on Friday May 10.
Junior Girls Soccer
by David Redpath
A very busy week for the Junior girls soccer team as they played three games against three very strong soccer teams. In Monday’s clash with Claremont, Claudia Wheler scored an early goal on a goalie’s worst nightmare – “the shot-cross”. SMUS played with the lead in a very even match up until midway through the second half. A clear corner kick for SMUS was called a goal kick, and Claremont moved the ball quickly up the field to score the tying goal. Chances were traded at either end with Claremont scoring a nice goal in the closing minutes of the game to pull off a 2-1 victory.
Tuesday had the girls back in action against classic rivals Oak Bay. This game was as exciting as they come. A scoreless first half gave way to a second half with 5 goals and huge momentum swings. Oak Bay scored in the 37th and 50th minutes before SMUS cued the comeback with a cracking shot from distance by Claire Swanston. SMUS then tied the game with a brilliant buildup from Rachel Olson and Flora Manson-Blair that put Claudia Wheler in alone on a breakaway, which she would finish like a pro. A handball and penalty kick as the final play of the game would spoil the comeback and prove Oak Bay as 3-2 winners.
After two hard-fought games, the girls were given a day off and then were back in action against top-ranked Stelly’s on Thursday. A very strong first half by Stelly’s had them up 3-0 before an inspirational half-time speech by Coach Mariel had SMUS outplay Stelly’s in the final 35 minutes to win the half 1-0. Final score 3-1 for Stelly’s, with a goal from Robyn Noel for SMUS.
Stay tuned for a busy week next week that involves a challenge match against Oak Bay to qualify for the city championships!
Two Minutes With… Trenton Franco
Trenton has been one of the top cricketers in the school for some time now and has been accepted to study Law at Oxford Brookes University next year. Trenton talks a little about balance between sports and academics, the Freshie Fair and what he likes to eat before those (super) long cricket matches.
Junior and Senior Rugby
It was a busy week for SMUS rugby, as the Grade 9 squad kicked things off April 26 with a hard fought 22-15 win over Cowichan RFC U15s.
In what was a battle of two distinct styles, SMUS’s ability to string phases together and move the ball away from the contact areas was just enough to counter the more direct, one-route approach of the opposition.
For SMUS, a lovely tally right on halftime by right wing Timmy Qi was the pick of four well worked team tries. Halfbacks Jonas Robinson and Pablo Fernandez linked well, while centres Josh Graffi and Artem Sakhbiev straightened the attack nicely.
Up front, flanker Myles Duncan, hooker John Cook and grade 8 addition Quinn Ngwati featured prominently.
At the Senior level, the focus shifted to Sevens, with the team entered in the April 27-28 provincial championships at UBC.
Unfortunately, Day 1 pool play against Robert Bateman, Magee and Kelowna proved a bit disappointing, with the team stymied to a great degree by the wet, slippery conditions. Even so, had another pass or two hit the mark, SMUS could so easily have advanced with three wins instead of the 1-2 mark which resulted in placement in the Bowl competition the following day.
Of note, Georgios Ikonomou made his school rugby debut and did not look out of place whatsoever.
Day 2 featured far better playing conditions, and SMUS took advantage. Dawit Workie performed brilliantly in the scrum half position, while centre Dave Pollen ran strongly en route to numerous tries. Grade 10 Graeme Hyde-Lay gave three consecutive assured performances as fly half, while David Boroto, Saeed Shokoya, Wayne Lin and Keenan Manhas also all played major minutes.
In scoring 18 tries in the three matches, SMUS recorded decisive wins over Clarence Fulton and Argyle, before downing Robert Bateman again, but this time by 43-5.
With Sevens completed, the 1st XV, along with the Juniors, shifted back to 15 aside when hosting GP Vanier of Courtenay. The Juniors, while not at their sharpest and featuring something of a scratch selection, still managed seven tries en route to a 41-12 win. Mitch Newman was, as usual, extremely dangerous on attack, but there were further good performances from left wing David Lee, fullback Owen Sudul and flanker James Hayashi. No. 8 Mac Valentine also made a successful return to action after recovering from a bruised shoulder.
The 1st XV, with Grade 10 Max Pollen joining brother David in midfield, and Cole Tamburri and Zach Kahn back in harness, counterattacked to telling effect in winning 50-19. Workie, in the absence of Sam Reid, slotted in comfortably at scrum half while Manhas, moved back to flanker, was an effective ball carrier. Lock Liam Hyatt did a lot of effective work at the breakdown.
Attention now turns to one of the most eagerly awaited days on the rugby calendar. Saturday, May 4 is Alumni Weekend, with Oak Bay set to provide the opposition. These games, part of an exciting and ongoing series for the past twenty years, will no doubt provide plenty of drama. The Junior match kicks off at 1:15 pm, with the 1st XV squad set to follow at 3:15 pm.
Senior Girls Soccer
by Nikki Kaufmann
The Senior girls soccer team had a full week of league and tournament play. A game against Parkland on Tuesday would determine their playoff fate and it was clear that the SMUS girls were determined to earn a spot in the Island Championships. A 6-1 victory guaranteed a top two finish in league standings, which also assured the team a trip to Islands in May. Orla Glen got SMUS on the board with two goals, while Yasmin Roudsari, Erin Hope, Ali Murtland and Sam Colby chipped in with one a piece.
SMUS was then up against an undefeated Lambrick squad for the final league game of the season. The winner of this game would take top spot in league standings. SMUS got on the board first with a goal from Sam Colby, however, Lambrick eventually answered back with two goals and the game finished 2-1.
Play continued into the weekend with the ISA tournament hosted by GNS. In pool play, SMUS notched two wins, first against Brentwood and second against Collingwood. SMUS was down 2-0 in the Brentwood game but battled back with a goal from Ali Murtland and a final-minute goal from Flora Manson-Blair to tie the game at two. SMUS then won in a penalty shootout.
SMUS beat Collingwood 3-0 with goals from Ali Murtland and two from Claudia Wheler. A 6-0 quarter-final win against Southpointe then put SMUS into the semi-final versus GNS. Goals in the Southpointe game came from Claudia Wheler, Erin Hope, Rachel Olson, Sam Colby, Yasmin Roudsari and Chantal Gebauer. In the semi-final game, GNS could not match the determination and resolve of the SMUS side. In what would be their best effort of the year, SMUS came out victorious with goals from Ali Murtland and Flora Manson-Blair, and Orla Glen earned the shutout between the pipes. SMUS then saw Crofton House in the ISA final, where an early Crofton goal was the eventual winner.
Despite the 1-0 loss, the road to the final showed an outstanding team effort and many moments of brilliant soccer. It was an especially notable weekend for the back line of Sarah Taylor, Isabella Gudgeon, Leanne Farmer and Ali Murtland, whose steadfast defensive play led the team throughout the tournament. The girls will compete in the Ryan Cup city playoffs this week.
by Susanne Walker-Curry
The SMUS team travelled to the Brentwood International Regatta with 38 athletes competing in 23 events. Brentwood is the largest high school regatta in the North West, with over 1700 athletes participating. Battling delays and crazy water, SMUS put in a solid performance.
- Junior Girls 63-kg coxed four
- Senior Boys 72kg coxed eight
- Junior Boys JV coxed quad
- Junior Girls coxed four
In addition, the following SMUS crews also qualified for finals:
- Senior Boys Single
- Senior Boys School Eight
- Senior Boys JV 2X
- Junior Girls Novice coxed quad
Overall, the team finished 15th out of 36 clubs, and fourth amongst Canadian schools, ahead of established rowing schools such as St. George’s, Crofton House, Claremont Sports Institute, Collingwood, Lakeside School and Lake Union from Seattle. Congratulations to the athletes and a big thank you to all the coaches (Mr. Curry, Mrs. Beare, Sarah Aylard, Ruby Walser, Brett Malcolm and Mike Lewis) and the parents for their support.
Our final regatta of the season, before selected crews compete at the Canadian Secondary School Championships in Ontario, will be the Shawnigan Lake Regatta May 10-11, 2013. Check out lots more pictures in the Photo Gallery courtesy of Sharon McLean and Ann Fenje.